HOOKSETT, N.H. — A teen driver who pointed a flare gun at another driver ended up firing a flare into his own car, police said.
State police said the incident began Monday evening when one driver cut off another car as they were going through the Hooksett tolls.
“There was a verbal exchange of some kind. I believe there was gesturing between the two of them,” Sgt. Charles Johnston said.
Police said the two cars were driving north on Interstate 93 toward Bow when 18-year-old Nicholas Richer pointed a flare gun out of the window at the other driver. Investigators said Richer fired the flare into his own car as he was pulling the gun back in the window.
The other driver called 911 to report the incident.
“The flare gun discharged inside the suspect’s vehicle, ignited, caught the right passenger’s front seat on fire,” Johnston said.
A state police trooper caught up with Richer at a gas station off of Interstate 89 in Bow. He said the flare just missed a youth sitting in the front passenger seat.
“Well, he saw the vehicle parked next to some bushes, and apparently the suspect was discarding the flare gun into the bushes,” Johnston said. “The windshield was smashed, and the front seat where the juvenile was seated was burned.”
Richer was arrested.
Because the weapon involved was a flare gun, Richer faces felony charges of reckless conduct and criminal threatening that could carry years behind bars, police said.
Richer is expected to appear in court in June.